Karnataka Congress president D.K. Shivakumar on Monday criticised his party MLA B.Z. Zameer Khan for his “hijab will protect women from getting raped” remark, saying the party neither endorses nor agrees with the views expressed by the legislator.
Khan has stirred a controversy by stating that incidents of rape are on high in India and wearing hijab will protect women from getting raped. He made the remarks on Sunday night at Dharwad in Karnataka.
Defending his statement, Khan stated that he has expressed his personal opinion on the issue.
“The beauty of women is not supposed to be exposed. No one should set their eyes upon them. Muslim women have been wearing hijab since long ago,” he said.
Shivakumar, however, said: “We will ask him not to issue any statements in this regard in future. We condemn those statements.”
Zameer, however, said he has not said anything for which he has to apologize.
“I have stated that hijab should be allowed. I have also said how a helmet (headgear) protects motorists, hijab keeps women safe,” he retorted.
“I have not made any comments on women getting raped without hijab in the country. If the media is reporting something which I have not said, how can I be responsible?”
He said that according to Islam, everyone should perform namaz five times a day but many don’t do that. “If women wear hijab, the incidents of rape would come down,” he said.
“Why there is an increase in rape cases in the country? It is because women are not behind purda (hijab). Women should wear hijab to conceal their beauty,” he said.
Khan further said that wearing hijab is right of Muslim women.
“They are wearing hijab since hundreds of years. The ruling BJP is using students for political gains.”
Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said that the country is being observant on “how appropriate Khan’s comments are”.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said: “He is provoking people.”
While BJP MLC Tejaswini Ramesh has demanded apology from Khan for his statements, Sri Ram Sene Founder Pramod Muthalik has suggested the Congress legislator “to mind his tongue before he talks anything”.
“It is a distasteful statement insulting women,” Muthalik said.